What is it that has helped guide your path and shape your identity today? What experience have you gone through that has left you in an emotional rut or has caused you to get stronger and grow? Often times those experiences mold us to be who we are meant to be. I know in the year 2020 music has become so easily accessible that we almost take it for granted these days. For a scrawny, semi-awkward kid with physical and learning disabilities growing up music became the first thing I felt gave me an identity. It was an escape from disabilities, shyness, dysfunction at home, felling defenseless and misunderstood. The turning point was the year 2000. I was a preacher's son in the small town in upstate New York, called Canisteo. Growing up with Cerebral Palsy and Dyscalculia often made me a guinea pig of the education system. Staff, physical therapists, and occupational therapist all combined forces to try and pinpoint the issues holding me back. I remember times well meaning educators would want to help but went to embarrassing lengthens to discover by setbacks. I just wanted to be "normal" but would frequently be put in situations that would embarrass me in front of my peers. I remember clearly trying to preserve my Junior High reputation while the physical therapist would run experiments to help me navigate through the school but didn't factor in that following a 7th grader around the hallway with a video camera filming my everyday school activities made me a bit conspicuous. One of their ideas was to place dots and arrows on my route through out the schools hallway to assist me in not getting lost was at the pinnacle of social suicide.
On top of that my experiences as a "PK" in a ministry home was not conventional. Growing up in a family that ate, slept and breathed church activities would be an adjustment on its own for many kids growing up. Combine that with issues of intense constant fighting, unrest and a series of literal knock down, drag out fights with my father behind the scenes and you had yourself a recipe for confusion. What was real? How was I to form an identity that helped me cope with the chaos? How could I feel related with and understood? Where did I really belong? When I was first introduced to music the answers to those questions all seemed to make sense and began to unfold in me. Three heavy tattooed brothers who were just settling in town and whose parents were new church goers at my families church were huge into rap and rock music..fanatics. It was through them that my love for rock, hip hop and tattoos was formed. I became fascinated and obsessed with everything from rock bands on the "Tooth and Nail" records CD like. "MXPX", "Slick Shoes", "Blindside", "Zao", "Chevelle", to bands like, "Linkin Park", "Sevendust", "Eminem", "50 cent", "Korn", "Adema
What are the things you've experienced that could be used to inspire people? Have you found your unique voice? Often times the experiences that could have ruined us gave us the strength we need to find our unique voice in the world. Tell me your story.